orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

October 16, 2013

West Orange seeks revisions to Cottage Food Law

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

WEST ORANGE — The city of West Orange is concerned the 2011 Texas Cottage Food Law and the revised regulations passed during the 2013 session of the Texas Legislature will hurt city and county festivals.

Mayor Roy McDonald said he meet with county judges just two weeks ago and was in Austin last week meeting with the Texas Municipality League (TML) concerning the HB 970.

“The now president of the TML is interested in the small city view and will back it,” McDonald said. “It is hurts the little person and not helping the big guy.”

The law initially went into effect Sept. 1, 2011 and was amended version went into effect on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013 allowing sales outside the home at specific locations such as farmers markets, farm stands, roadside stands, or nonprofit fairs and festivals as long as the gross sales of the vendor do not exceed $50,000 annually.

Vendors at the local Farmers Markets and festivals will be affected by changes to the law that was enacted to allow the sale of food made in uninspected and unlicensed home kitchens.

McDonald also said this was a state-wide concern.

“This will affect city, county and state festivals,” McDonald said. “People cannot comply with the regulations. City and county festivals will be killed”

A resolution passed by the West Orange City Council during Monday’s meeting reads: “...without all the foods deemed ‘cottage foods,” a huge draw to our festivals and fairs will be gone and attendance will shrink...”

The West Orange Holiday in the Park experienced a difficult time finding food vendors for this years event scheduled for Saturday, November 2, due to the new changes in the “cottage food” law.